Out-of-sorts Sydney FC fall to Marinos in AFC Asian Champions League

Sydney FC went down 4-0 to Yokohama F. Marinos in their AFC Asian Champions League opener and head coach Steve Corica admits the Japanese champions caught the Sky Blues off guard.

Two-time Hyundai A-League Championship-winning coach Ange Postecoglou’s side raced off to a strong start at International Stadium Yokohama when Ado Onaiwu opened the scoring after 12 minutes.

Two goals the space of three minutes from Teruhito Nakagawa gave the Tricolore a 3-0 lead at half-time, before Onaiwu netted his second goal six minutes after the interval as away side struggled to make their mark on the match.

It had been 18 days since Sydney FC had taken to the field for a competitive game and Corica believes his runaway Hyundai A-League leaders showed signs of rust against their J-League opponents.

“They played very high tempo with the ball and without the ball. They probably surprised us because we hadn’t played for three weeks,” Corica said.

“We had one game called off due to the rain in Sydney and the Shanghai SIPG game was called off as well… with the coronavirus.

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Sydney FC coach Steve Corica and Yokohama FM chief Ange Postecoglou shake hands prior to kick-off.
Sydney FC coach Steve Corica and Yokohama FM chief Ange Postecoglou shake hands prior to kick-off.

“We were put under a lot of pressure, we didn’t adapt very well to it and the goals that we conceded really were disappointing.

“They were uncharacteristic for us to concede goals like that but they played very well, they are a good team and we respect them.

“But we did not perform at our best.”

Yokohama FM lead the way in Group H with two wins from their two games, after opening their campaign with a 2-1 victory against Korea Republic side Jeonbuk Motors, while China’s Shanghai East Asia are yet to play.

Sydney FC return to league action against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, 23 February in Gosford, aiming to extend their 10-point advantage at the top of the ladder.

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Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Kick-off: 6pm AEDT
Venue: Central Coast Stadium Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

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